29 Ways to Make Your Machines Even Better
In the strive for perfection, there’s always room for improvement. We think our machines are pretty perfect but add in some carefully selected accessories and you can make them even greater.
To keep the machine working at its optimum, it should be kept it in peak condition. The cast iron tables need to remain smooth and rust free by using maintenance products such as the Axminster Machinery Maintenance Kit (1).
Finish on the wood slightly diminishing? Get your blades back to their former glory by using a diamond hone (2). If the blades are past the point of no return and you need to replace them, be sure to set them at the right height with a planer blade setting jig (3).
A planer thicknesser will often have to moved around depending on the required functionality, the size of the timber and for ease of storage in the workshop. To enable this to be done quickly and without fuss, a mobile base (4 & 5) is an essential piece of kit. To enable further ease of use, a roller stand (6) is a great asset when using long pieces of material, especially when working alone.
PPE is not only a must in order to work safely when using a planer thicknesser but also helps you perform to your very best. When in use, these machines produce a high decibel level and can send chips flying in all directions so ear defenders (7) and eye protection (8) are imperative. Guide blocks (9) will also keep your hands away from the cutter block and apply an even pressure on the boards when planing.
Suitable extraction is paramount when using a planer thicknesser as they produce a vast amount of chippings. Although not considered to necessarily improve the functionality of a planer, this will undoubtedly improve your working conditions. Make sure you get a chip extractor with a large collection bag and the airflow to match the machines needs. For more information on choosing the right extractor, read our guide.
The old adage that your saw is only as good as your blade applies to almost all bandsaws. To make sure that you get the right blade for your saw, we have a fantastic range of blades from high carbon (1) to premium (3), with our unique, long lasting GT blades (2) sure to catch your eye! If you’re not sure which blade is for you, view our guide here.
You won’t find a handier accessory for a bandsaw than our Bandsaw Buddy! (4) With four great uses including blade setting and improved vernier cutting, it’s quickly become a must-have in any workshop.
If you’re looking to cut mitres, only the best mitre fence will do. Try the UJK Technology Compact Mitre Gauge and Fence (5) to improve the accuracy of your mitres. Worklights (6) are handy anywhere but get one with a magnetic base to fit onto your bandsaw and allow you maximum visibility for precision work.
Bandsaws, although not always heavy, can be awkward to move so when cutting large pieces of timber where a lot of space is required, a mobile base (7) will get your saw in place with minimal effort.
A featherboard (8) will not only improve accuracy on the bandsaw but even more importantly, provides improved safety,; keeping fingers away from the blade and preventing the risk of kickback. Woodworking always poses a threat to your eyes, so make sure you take precautions with safety specs (9).
Although extraction isn’t perfect on a bandsaw, it is still absolutely necessary. Not only does it increase safety and keep your workshop clean, it also means the machine can work to its optimum without a buildup of dust on the table or band wheels.
One sure fire way of improving an extractors performance is to upgrade the filter cartridge. Doing this for the AWEDE2 (1) will get the filtration of this machine down to 1 micron; ideal for handling dusts produced by bandsaws and tablesaws. A plastic waste bag (2) will also be required to collect the larger particles.
If your extractor already has 1 micron filtration, fit a HEPA module (5) to improve this further to 0.3 microns; enabling you to handle even the finest of dusts as produced by sanders.
Some extractors come with hoses as standard, but for those that don’t it’s important to fit a high quality hose, as cheaper ones can tear under duress. Getting one with rubber end cuffs (3) is always a big help to ensure a simple, close fit. If you have a static extractor but need it to work with a couple machines in your workshop, why not try a retractable hose (4)? Only 1m in length when retracted, this can stretch out to 6m, large enough for almost any workshop.
If, however, you plan to have many machines in the workshop, it may be time to start thinking about a dust extraction kit. For the home workshop user, the 100mm dust extraction kit (6) will provide you with everything you need to get started. For the trade user looking for something a bit more permanent and heavy duty, this metal ducting kit (7) is a fantastic way to get your workshop extraction to its pinnacle performance.